Sunday, February 23, 2014

March Madness in the Library

With March Madness upon us this is an opportune time for some exciting library programming. I like to take the theme green at the beginning of the month and than I pull out the colors and blooms once spring is upon us.  There are extraordinary opportunities to collaborate with your music, art, and math departments so take full advantage of these celebrations.  You may acknowledge festivities through displays, flyers, mentions in a newsletter, invitations to celebrations, and more.  I like the idea of blending National Craft Month in making items for Read Across America or Teen Tech Week. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Poetry Slam with Google Hangouts!

I had the privilege of participating in a district Poetry Slam via Google Hangouts and all I can say is it was an awesome experience!

The project was the collaboration and brainchild of 3 Instructional Coaches, 3 Computer Technology Liaisons, and 3 English Language Arts teachers at 3 different middle schools in our district.  All planning took place through Google Hangouts or Google docs.  

A view of our Google Hangout
Here’s basically how the Poetry Slam was conducted.
  1. Students wrote original poetry in the ELA classes.
  2. 4-5 students were selected prior to the Slam to read their poetry.  Time prevented all students to participating in reading.
  3. Proper etiquette, rules, format, etc. was shared on a Google document with the group. 
  4. A location and time was selected within each school for a hangout.  2 schools chose the library as their location!
  5. IT Coaches, CTLs (this included 2 librarians), and ELA teachers collaborated on each campus to enter the Google Hangout
  6. Once the Hangout began all 3 schools took turns reading their poetry.
  7. After each poem was read students were ask for feedback by entering information in a Google form. There were over 1,750 responses in the form.
  8. Students from other campuses were allowed to ask questions after each poem was read.
  9. During the entire process there was feedback from many through TodaysMeet and Twitter (#NISDpoetryslam) feeds that were visible on separate monitors. I displayed in Visible Tweets which was very enthralling to our students.
Tweets via Visible Tweets

The activity was incredible with our students totally engaged at all times.  Once they completed the Google form they were encouraged to make comments on our TodaysMeet and Twitter feeds.  Lurkers included school and district administrators who had a glimpse into a fantastic classroom activity that went beyond the walls of just one school.  I foresee the use of Google Hangouts in many other activities in the near future.  What a day with Google Hangouts, Google docs, Google form, TodaysMeet, and Twitter all smashed into one activity.  It was epic.  Watch out World Read Aloud Day - here we come!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

TCEA 2014

I've been attending conferences since 1989 but this was my first time to attend TCEA 2014 in Austin, Texas.  What an awesome surprise for me to have so many opportunities to attend the most amazing sessions.  I was able to blend my love of technology at the sessions in the convention center and my passion for the library in the TCEA LIB-SIG meeting and sessions at the Hilton.  Another treat was to meet many in my virtual PLN face-to-face.  I brought books to read, anticipated I would have time to finish writing a grant, and expected some lesson plan writing time but the fast paced high energy agenda left me just about enough time to eat and sleep.  

Here is a link to the TCEA 2014 handouts since this was almost a paperless convention.

I was honored to be nominated for The Amazing Librarian 2014 Award.  Congratulations to Nidia Rodriquez on receiving this award.

Tina Berumen Cannon Elementary Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
Sue Fitzgerald Gene Pike Middle School Northwest ISD
Mary Carole Strother Finch Elementary McKinney ISD
Nidia Rodriguez United High School United ISD

I also had the privilege to present Cheapskate PD for Librarians with the wonderful #TXLchat co-moderators.  We have incredible plans for future chats.

February 11th
Join #TXLchat moderators Sharon Gullett & Sonja Schulz as they share highlights of TCEA. There's also a surprise guest.  Come share what you loved about the conference!

February 25th

Join #TXLchat moderators Michelle Cooper & Sharon Gullett as they welcome special guests Colby Sharp and John Schumacher from the #SharpSchu chat and #NerdyBookClub

Who could forget to mention all the new awesome friends that we made.  But the best part was connecting with my PLN!  I can't wait for TLA. 

Here's a visual view of TCEA 2014.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Loupe Collage - Another Awesome Google App

Loupe Collage is a free online collage app that I use with my school Google account.  You can easily access Loupe in Google Drive by clicking on the Create option and choosing connect more apps.  Once you select Loupe in the more apps click on the green connect button.  The app will now appear when you click on Create in Google Drive. 

Great options with the Loupe app includes:
  • You can access photos from many social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more to make a collage.
  • You can make unique collages from pre-made shapes to choose from.
  • Photos can be repositioned manually.
  • The collage can be emailed, shared on social media, downloaded, or embedded as in this post.
  • The image is saved in your Google Drive account.
  • When using Google Drive there is no account set-up.
  • There are some easy formatting options such as adjusting borders, choosing photos, and more.
The process is extremely easy.
  • Suggested use for collage:
  • Use on your library website or blog
  • Host a variety of book titles 
  • Use to show case displays
  • Make a visual for your library programming
  • Make a collaborative collage with favorite books of students and/or faculty

Take some time and check out the Loupe app in either in your Google account or on  the website.  
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